Carpet cleaning products - lying on newly sprayed areas or inhaling fumes
Petrol or diesel fumes
Weed killer/pesticides sprays – lying on newly sprayed areas or inhaling
Drugs/medicines – e.g. steroids
Soaps and shampoos
Smoke – cigarettes, wood smoke
Food colourings and preservatives. – Dried food. treats, chews
Plastic food/water bowls
Pets absorb chemicals/toxins through their paw pads, skin, fur, eyes, nose and by licking or digestion. For example if your pet is walking on or lying on areas that have been sprayed or cleaned recently they are absorbing chemicals/toxins through their paws, fur, skin, nose, eyes as well as digesting when they lick themselves. Anything you spray in the air including plug in devices your pet is inhaling and absorbing through their nose, skin, fur and eyes. Animals are much more sensitive to airborne sprays than humans. Cats are even more sensitive than dogs and are particularly affected by essential oils.
How can this affect your pet's liver and make your pet ill?
The liver is a complex organ that plays a major role in digestion, filtration, blood proteins and glucose storage. One of the liver's roles is to filter all of these chemicals/toxins and remove whatever the body considers as unwanted via the kidneys either as urine or bile. Bile is mainly reused within the body and aids in digestion so remains in the body complete with any chemicals or toxins the body has not been able to excrete.
How many of the things listed at the beginning is your pet exposed to on a regular basis? An overloaded liver will affect the whole body and leave your pet feeling unwell. For a start your pet will not be able to digest their food well, meaning their body is not utilising all the goodness in their food as well as it could. Over a period of time other health issues are likely to start appearing such as digestive issues or diarrhoea, kidney issues, joint issues, skin issues and so on.
Some early symptoms of liver issues can be digestive upsets, bringing up of bile – especially in the morning, skin problems, lethargy, mood changes, change in eating habits, weight loss.
If there are more obvious outward signs of liver damage such as jaundice, fluid in the abdomen, tenderness around the liver area; your pet is very unwell and liver function is badly impaired.
Cats livers are special
Any cat owner knows that cats are special in many ways. Not only can chemicals or toxins have an adverse effect on your cat’s liver but simply not eating can as well. It is not commonly known that it is dangerous for a cat not to eat for more than 24 hours. A cat that does not eat for 24-36 hours or a cat that is picking at its food for days is highly likely to develop Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). This is a dangerous illness, as when a cat has not eaten their body starts to convert stored fats for energy and their liver cannot cope well with this type of fat so the fat begins to accumulate in their liver. This causes other serious health problems and can result in death if not treated. For more details on this illness in cats.
What you can do if you are concerned about the amount of chemicals/toxins your pet may be exposed to
If you would like to know where to source New Zealand natural products for your pets such as food, treats, skin and coat care and much more, then visit this new online directory www.naturalforpets.co.nz
If you suspect jaundice or fluid in the abdomen or your pet appears unwell then visit your veterinarian and ask about liver function testing. Holistic treatments are able to work alongside veterinary treatments. Contact me, Cath at Cath’s Place to arrange a consultation and get a holistic treatment plan covering diet, herbs and environmental changes to help your pet’s body get back on track.
Diet plays a major role in treating liver issues. The diet alterations are based around how damaged the liver is. An herbal tonic that includes herbs that help repair and support the liver is important. As with all illnesses it takes time for the body to heal and a multi-pronged approach is best.